Seniors celebrate Chinese New Year: Year of Dog

By Florence Kan

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog, various senior citizen clubs at the Parsippany Community Center planned and participated in nine programs on Friday, February 16.

Ann Fong and Janet Chen were the emcees for the program. Opening remarks were made by Parsippany’s Mayor Michael Soriano and Health & Human Services’ Director Michele Picone.

The first program was the Tai Chi Chuan which was performed by the Tai Chi Group at the Center. Mayor Soriano was invited by the Tai Chi group to join in and give an impromptu performance. He did such a fabulous job in convincing the audience that he was no green horn in Tai Chi practice. The Parsippany Tai Chi group is led by Master Yan Feng who teaches different forms of Tai Chi such as chuan(fists), sword and fans. She has a trainer certificate from Beijing, China (Coach of martial arts – National Level II) and been a Tai Chi teacher at the Center for over six years. The group practices every Monday and Friday at the Center and has over 80 members.

Second program was a dance named Nanping Evening Bell which was performed by the Parsippany Grand Dancing group.  Grand dancing is a popular type of dance in China usually done in open spaces.  All ladies were dressed in medium long Chinese “Qipao”, one kind of formal Chinese dress. They all looked gorgeous. The Grand Dancing group is led by Nina Dai who is a frequent story writer and teaches grand dancing every Wednesday afternoon at the Center.

The third program was Tai Chi long-tasseled sword which was performed by Master Yan Feng. Her exceptional Tai Chi skill was absolutely stunning at her age of over 70.  

The fourth program was guitar playing performed by Chuck Boyajian and his bass player, Simon. Their folk music was very lively and uplifting.  Chuck and Simon belong to a band and love to entertain.

The fifth program was Mulan Double fans 54 form performed by the Tai Chi Group. The look-alike blue and white peacock fans flew over the room like a big cloud of sea.

The sixth program was a mini fashion show performed by the Grand Dancing group. All ladies dressed elegantly in long “Qipao” and the audience was amazed by their beauty, charm and graceful movements.

The seventh program was the Double fans 48 form performed by Vivian and Charlie Zhou. Their coordinated movements captured the eyes of the audience the entire time.  The eighth program consisted of Waltz and Cha Cha dances performed by the Parsippany Ballroom Dancing group and were quite entertaining. This dance group is led by Richard Wu who teaches at the Center every Thursday afternoon. The ninth program and finale was ballroom dances performed by  Lucy and Bing Chang. Both take lessons at Rogers Dance Center.  They danced International Waltz, American Foxtrot and Quickstep.  Lucy wore a beautiful pink professional gown. Together with Bing, an avid dancer, they had captured the attention of the entire audience with their impeccable dancing techniques. The Chinese New Year celebration ended with open floor free dancing.

In conclusion, over 150 seniors, friends and families had attended the program at the Center. They have expressed their thanks to Mayor Soriano, Health & Human Services’ Director Picone and her staff, the organizers, volunteers and the performing groups whose efforts had made this Chinese New Year a memorable one. Special thanks to Mayor Soriano and Director Picone for providing this wonderful facility which has so many activities for senior citizens. Their supportive efforts  are so much appreciated and have drawn so many seniors of diverse backgrounds to the Center.